EXCLUSIVE: Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans director Patrick Tatopoulos has been tapped to helm New Babylon, an original science fiction fantasy pic from Hydra Entertainment. Tatopoulos’ background as a creature designer and production designer on films like 300: Rise Of An Empire, Total Recall, and the Underworld films will come in handy on the film, which is set in the Middle East in the near future when a war between angels and demons leads up to the building of a modern day Tower of Babel. Hydra’s focus on visual design-driven projects originates with its principals, Oscar-winning helmer Robert Stromberg (Disney’s Maleficent), Avatar franchise production designer Dylan Cole, and the founders of previsualization firm The Third Floor, Inc. New Babylon is scripted by David LoPresti from an original concept from co-founder Joshua Wassung. Hydra’s Head of Development Nathan Santell and GM Joel Newton will produce with Wassung. Stromberg and Hydra co-founder Chris Edwards are exec producing.
“We have some very ambitious ideas for the world, characters and story of this movie, and I can already see that the innovative virtual design and story development techniques being employed at Hydra are going to make all the difference in exploring those concepts and putting them on screen in a visually stunning way,” said Tatopoulos.
The Hydra strategy is to integrate high end concept art design, storyboarding, and previz into the scripting process and develop story and visual elements concurrently, with financing from an in-house fund. The company’s also developing Safari, with Stromberg set to direct, and The Otherworldly Adventures Of Tyler Washburn adapted from the children’s book by Hydra’s Dylan Cole.